Is inherited class a derivative work?

David Johnson david at
Fri Oct 19 01:54:10 UTC 2001

On Thursday 18 October 2001 12:21 am, Michael Beck wrote:

> > Now that's a truly scary thought if you think about it. The KDE core
> > libraries are under the LGPL, but there are many KDE
> > applications that are
> > under different licenses and which of subclassed some KDE
> > classes (kwin,
> > kicker, cervisia, etc). Are these programs all now illegal?
> IANAL, but assuming that the FSF statement about LGPL and inheritance is
> correct, this would only indicate that the classes derived from KDE should
> be published under LGPL. The programs using them could continue to be
> released under their current licenses.

It is far more convenient to have small to medium applications be a single 
executable, instead of arbitrarily splitting it in a library and calling 
binary solely on the basis of which classes used inheritance.

Licenses should not be in a position to influence how an application is 
designed. But if the above interpretation really is that of the FSF, then the 
LGPL would be instrumental in influencing the developer to use aggregation or 
composition instead of inheritance. This is asinine.

David Johnson
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